SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Water conditions are becoming ideal for the growth of “blue-green algae,” which has toxic effects.
Cyanobacteria is a microorganism that grows in water when the weather is warm enough. With the summer heat coming in, the Illinois Department of Health and Environmental Protection Agency hopes to warn people against making contact with the algae.
Children, the elderly, and immunocompromised people are most susceptible to the harmful nature of the algae. The algae is most dangerous when touched directly or ingested.
State officials warn residents to look out for these distinguishing factors of the algae.
- looks like spilled, green or blue-green paint;
- has surface scums, mats, or films;
- has a blue or green crust at the shoreline;
- is discolored or has green-colored streaks; or
- has greenish globs suspended in the water below the surface
For more information about cyanobacteria, click here.
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of exposure to the algae, call the Illinois Poison center at 1-800-222-1222.